Thousands of construction workers gathered at the Statehouse Monday to loudly protest a bill eliminating the state’s common construction wage. It’s the latest in a battle over the future of the minimum wage in public projects.
More than 2,000 predominantly union workers and contractors filled the south lawn of the Statehouse, listening to industry leaders and lawmakers oppose a bill repealing the common wage law.
Frank Marshall is the president of contracting company G. E. Marshall. He describes himself as a lifelong Republican and says he regrets helping put GOP lawmakers in power at the Statehouse.
“They will not any longer get any financial support from me or my votes in the future,” Marshall told the crowd.
Force Construction President Harold Force says most of the support for repealing the common wage comes from people not involved in the construction industry.
“[Their] knowledge of the means and methods of construction is secondhand at best,” Force said. “The way I like to put it is: if you don’t spend time in the ocean, then you are not qualified to life as a fish.”
Carmel Republican Representative Jerry Torr – the bill’s author – says he doesn’t think the rally will impact the final vote.